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That is a very hard call. The MC252 has all the slam and dynamics of a Krell, but along with the brute power (does it ever run out?) it has finesse, which makes it a very sweet sounding amp. Not as laid back as the MC2102, but close. That being the case, I would opt for the MC252. You'll never experience listening fatigue, and if you did ever decide to let the 803's sing, well then you have that too. The 252 is well above the 803's power rating, but don't let that stop you. The power is so CLEAN, they will be able quite a bit more than what they are rated for. Not knocking the 2102, as it is a remarkable amplifier itself. How can you go wrong with either? You can't.
Here is my analogy:
I can taste the differences of wine that cost me $20 a bottle or $500 a bottle. But I cannot tell the difference of a bottle of wine between $500 to $600.
The MC252 and MC2102 are similar to those wine between $500 and $600, I cannot tell much difference. Moreover, I cannot tell the difference between bi-wiring or super expensive speaker wires to cheap wiring. Although I have perfect hearing, I just had my physical and I can hear the highest to lowest tone. My doctor was very impressed and I was told there aren't too many around. I think I am just not that artistic...? Therefore, I will not invest extra $ for wiring.
I want decent music and I don't want to be audiophile because I don't have extra money to burn. I can live with 803s for 10+ coming years.
With these attributes, should I just go for MC252 instead? The MC252 seems to be tuned very close to tube machines. I think MC2102 required a lot of maintenance right? For sure the light bulbs are really cool looking inside the tube machines.
Extra question: is 100 WPC from tube is greater than the 100 WPC from solid amp? I mean the actual power.
Most people will tell you that tube watts sound/seem more powerful. Of course they really are the same in terms of measurement and most people will say the apparent difference is due to the different ways that tube and ss output devices clip and their different harmonic structure (odd order vs even order harmonics). I do not have the technical knowledge to verify or refute those explanations but I can tell you that a 300b tube amp putting out 9 wpc "sounds" way more powerful than a ss amp rated at 15 or 20 wpc.